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Winging It In Washington

Jennifer Rubin simply nails a topic that has been circulating and percolating in the political dialogue for months, to wit, "that there is no there there" when it comes to the Obama administration. Using the latest comeuppance, the failed Olympics bid on behalf of the city of Chicago, Rubin notes:

Both the rebuff and the Obama team's stunned reaction (to the Olympics failure) have stripped the veneer from the Obama mystique. Suddenly, the entire country realizes that that there is no "master plan" behind what Obama does. In fact, there may be no plan at all.

Obama's frosty demeanor, his upending of the Clinton machine in the Democratic primary, and his smooth presidential campaign helped create the myth that he was in control of all events and could see two or three moves ahead.

Could it be that Obama is not, in fact, a sophisticated analyst and astute policy wonk but merely has led a charmed political life, benefiting from a series of inept opponents (think Alan Keyes, the snarling infighters in Hillaryland, and the McCain gang-that-couldn't-shoot-straight), a sycophantic media, and an electorate willing to give him every benefit of the doubt? It might just be that neither he nor his advisers have thought through much of anything because they convinced themselves that they had the secret weapon, the gravity-defying political colossus.

There is a confluence of events that is having the effect of exposing this President as a politician that was enormously over promised and under delivered; an unvetted, untested and obscure politician that is failing before our very eyes. In looking back over the last several months there were telling signs of what is clearly seen today as the epitome of a politician in over his head. It began with the President's promise on inauguration day to close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay (with no plan in place to accomplish that directive). Following that, in no particular order, was the failed Stimulus legislation , the CIA interrogation investigation flip flop, the government takeover of the car companies, the Louis Gates fubar , a total disregard for unemployment, the inept handling of ObamaCare , the wasted political capital on Cap and Trade, the European missile shield betrayal and the failure to implement a previously stated Afghanistan policy.

As Rubin noted, it is apparent that this administration has not thought through much of anything, instead relying on heaping portions of chutzpah to wrestle their way through crisis after crisis. Gambling the prestige of the office of the President on a foolish, poorly considered wager for the Olympics was just the latest blunder. That doesn't inspire much confidence, does it? But at least we know what we are dealing with.


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Comments (52)

The Danish press is attribu... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The Danish press is attributing he Olympic embarrassment to the extreme arrogance of both Barry and Michelle.

I think that Sarkozy has this president pretty much nailed. He is a Utopian dreamer. Obama has not paid any attention to world events in the last 30 years. He has not seen the collapse of communism and the slow painful decline of socialism in Europe. He is still the naive college student hanging around the coffee house spouting quotes from Marx and Alinski. He doesn't see that real world dictators like shorty in Iran don't give a damn about his dreams for world peace. He still thinks that pseudo sophisticated arguments are the answer to every power hungry thug.

The problem is that in the real world talk is meaningless unless it is backed up with the power and will to force the outcomes you desire. TR knew what he was saying when he said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

Unfortuanlty for America it... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Unfortuanlty for America it's becoming apparent that Obama is an empty suit. Fortunately for America, having an liberal empty suit for President will result in voters putting true conservatives in control of the government in 2012.

Said it before--this admin ... (Below threshold)

Said it before--this admin comes across as an amalgam of the Keystone Kops and the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Where Obama looks especiall... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Where Obama looks especially bad is in foreign affairs. He has blundered continually in foreign relations.

My suspicion is that this is because he has never bothered to think about it as his focus has been exclusively on domestic issues and in particular promoting socialist, centralized control of all the daily activities of the citizen's life.

He cannot work within the democratic system. He still has not appointed the vast majority of offices requiring confirmation. He has only met with his cabinet once. Instead he has an impressive array of unconfirmed and unvetted czars who exercise control over the government. His policies are deeply unpopular to the point that he (along with his congressional accomplices) has shut out the minority party from any discussions and now seeks to pass major legislation without debate or even without a finalized bill. Senate obstacles will be avoided by passing major issues via reconciliation.

He has never led anything bigger than a class discussion. How is it that anyone s surprised that he cannot lead the Unites States.

And we're stuck with him fo... (Below threshold)

And we're stuck with him for 3 more years.

Part of it would be that he... (Below threshold)

Part of it would be that he never won a hotly contested election, having eliminated most of his opponents through various legal protests or using the press as his accompli to upend someone else's election possibilities. Charmed or safe guarded, I would go with safe guarded. mpw

We survived Carter we can s... (Below threshold)

We survived Carter we can survive Obama.

Well, its nice that the gli... (Below threshold)

Well, its nice that the gliterati in the press and the 'rest' of the country are noticing what many conservatives have been saying since the halfwit socialist entered the presidential primaries.

Now we are saddled with a bigoted narcissistic idiot that has not the first clue how to lead except by fiat through his Czars. I fear many of them are but mere appointee's with little to no knowledge of what they are in charge of but have a leftist agenda they intend to enforce.

On the world stage he is but a bit player and our country will be the worse for it.

We need to be ruthless in 2... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

We need to be ruthless in 2010 with both Donks and RINOS. If a candidate is not worthy of inviting into your home and kissing your baby vote third or fourth party.

Oh, one more thing that I f... (Below threshold)

Oh, one more thing that I forgot to add...

This President is on permanent vacation and is treating the White House and its staff like it's his personal vacation planner, a new place to go seemingly every week.

Find a reason and impeach h... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Find a reason and impeach him before his does damage that is not repairable.

Academia meets real world. ... (Below threshold)

Academia meets real world. Academia waffle stomped.

Never send a callow youth t... (Below threshold)

Never send a callow youth to do a mans work.

This President is on per... (Below threshold)
jim m:

This President is on permanent vacation and is treating the White House and its staff like it's his personal vacation planner, a new place to go seemingly every week.

This is what you get when you have a man who is essentially a figurehead. He is completely managed by his core advisers. He doesn't know how to deal with Congress. His own legislative history is as the most extreme, least compromising figure in the body. In Illinois he always placed Ideology before actually getting things done.

So this is a man with no management experience and no experience in legislative negotiation. He has lived his entire life in an ideological bubble. Brought up with a communist mentor in Hawaii, palling around with socialist and Marxist friends at Harvard and U of C. Working as a 'community organizer' with more of the same crowd and launching his political career from their homes.

He has never had to function in the real world. It shows.

See my fist post on my thou... (Below threshold)

See my fist post on my thoughts, the second was just an afterword...

I know we conservatives kne... (Below threshold)

I know we conservatives knew all along this empty suit was shooting blanks. Some people, (the left) seem to take good speeches as proof of ability. Well, the are some very dispicable characters in the history of the world that really spoke well and knew how to fire up a crowd. ww

He is still the naive co... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

He is still the naive college student hanging around the coffee house spouting quotes from Marx and Alinski.

Obama the beatnik. Right on Daddyo.

Alinsky doesn't say in Rule... (Below threshold)

Alinsky doesn't say in Rules For Radicals what happens when your luck runs out and the community organizer finds himself part of the "establishment" - no longer forcing others to make decisions but in turn having to be responsible for your own decisions. Oh, well, at least the campaign was fun.

Obama and the people around... (Below threshold)

Obama and the people around him, have the typical criminal mindset. They think that work is for suckers. They also have a super-inflated ego, with which they scheme and plan everything to the last minute detail and when something goes awry with the plan, they do not have the mental capacity to accept change and then lash out at everyone, not wanting to admit that it is their fault. The State Run Media that has propped him up and is complicit in the crime that is being perpetrated on the American people and to some degree, the world, is to blame also.

What happens when the organ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

What happens when the organizer finds himself in charge? Exactly what we see today: He keeps on with the campaign. There is no attempt to describe how to govern. It is never considered. Alinsky looks only at how do you tear down the existing government.

Now that Obama is in power his only actions are to keep campaigning and to continue to try and tear down our government. So he continually apologizes for the US. He insults our allies and abrogates security arrangements that protect them. He coddles our enemies and keeps them from being harmed so they can gather their own strength against us.

In short he is still campaigning to bring down the US. The only difference is that he is on the inside now.

Hugh, Good list of f... (Below threshold)

Good list of failures but you left out an important one.

Obama came down on the side of the wannabe dictator for life in Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.
In supporting Zelaya, rather than the people of Honduras attempting to uphold their constitution, we saw a troubling sign.

I hesitate to say this could have been our fate had Obama been more successful in this presidency.

I dont think anybody with s... (Below threshold)

I dont think anybody with sense is terribly surprised by what we see here.

Most already knew that Obama was a stuffed shirt.

In this case, the danger doesnt come from the things Obama wants to accomplish (especially now that we see the utter lack of grace and skill possesed by Barry and his team posseses.)

The danger that we face from Obama is what happens when he allows his incompetance and ego to get him in over his head.

Hes like a blind man walking around in someone elses backyard, sooner or later hes going to step into something soft and brown.

Also add Barry's support fo... (Below threshold)

Also add Barry's support for the current illegal regime in Iran. Screw the people.

I hesitate to say this c... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I hesitate to say this could have been our fate had Obama been more successful in this presidency.

He's not out of office yet.

Well, as Abraham Lincoln sa... (Below threshold)

Well, as Abraham Lincoln said, you can fool 52.9 percent of the people some of the time. Or something like that.

Jimmuh Carter will not go d... (Below threshold)

Jimmuh Carter will not go down in history as the most incompetent President, we have ever had. That title will fall on the shoulders of "Walks On Water". No matter how the State Run Media spins the canard that the "vast right wing conspiracy" is behind the follies of Obama, they will too lose out in the end

Governing in campaign sound... (Below threshold)

Governing in campaign sound-bites, that neither he or his people realize is not governing at all is a BIG PROBLEM. Not only is there no plan B, there was never a plan A. A plan consists of a beginning, middle and end. Obama quite with the beginning.

Listening to all the BS dur... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Listening to all the BS during the Bush years I kept thinking to myself. maybe we should let the liberals be in total charge. People would wake up when they realize just what a load of crap they were being fed and liberasl would be out of power for years. I only hope that when the elections come it isnt to late to save the ship instead of just hanging on to some flotsam and try not to drown.

"Could it be that Obama ... (Below threshold)

"Could it be that Obama is not, in fact, a sophisticated analyst and astute policy wonk but merely has led a charmed political life, benefiting from a series of inept opponents"

How ironic, in beating inept opponents He ends up being the most inept buffoon ever.

"How ironic, in beating ine... (Below threshold)

"How ironic, in beating inept opponents He ends up being the most inept buffoon ever."

Took some time to work it's way up through our system, but we've finally gotten an "Affirmative Action" President.

14. Posted by jim ... (Below threshold)
14. Posted by jim m | October 4, 2009 4:00 PM

Agreed. The "rise of Obama" is the direct confluence of forces between the radical Left, the Chicago mob (Daley et.al.), and Obama's own desire for power for the sake of power. These forces aligned in the person of Obama because of his race, which was the Absolute Moral Authority trump card used repeatedly by Dems to stifle any discussion regarding his past. The MSM played the "historical" emotional angle exclusively as well, given that in the world of relative class warfare, a black man trumped a white woman (look how quickly the MSM turned on their favorite, HillDawg, the moment Obama's star began to rise).

There, I said it. Ban me quick, Charles Johnson!

Without any ability to lead on his own, Obama is a puppet used by various power bases to steer a radical left agenda; one that we will be paying for into perpetuity if ObamaCare is passed.

7. Posted by Michael | October 4, 2009 3:10 PM

Carter was merely incompetent in a gross negligence sense. Obama's incompetence is being used by many to do things that will have far reaching consequences, much more lasting than anything Jimmuh ever dreamed of doing. In some ways, the US has never completely recovered from the damage Jimmuh did in one term. Obama's term, if by some miracle he only serves for one, will fundamentally change the country and its place in the world much more for the worse.

20. Posted by jim m | October 4, 2009 5:31 PM

It's easy being a dog (a "community organizer") chasing a bus (the "establishment"). But the dog never thinks further ahead than what it will do once it has a mouthful of bumper, and the bus isn't stopping...

Took some time to work i... (Below threshold)

Took some time to work it's way up through our system, but we've finally gotten an "Affirmative Action" President.

More like a "Peter Principle" President, Garandfan. He's reached the level where he's incompetent. He MIGHT have been acceptably mundane as a US Senator - but he had to use his only real talent (his charisma) and take that last step...

And now he (and us) are finding that charisma only takes you so far. He successfully masked the complete lack of leadership ability, ability to make a decision, diplomatic expertise, and forethought necessary to being a successful President.

The next three years are going to be VERY instructive.

I take offense to the notio... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I take offense to the notion that he has only now reached the level at which he is incompetent. I would suggest hat he was already there when he entered the Illinois Senate.

The man couldn't get tenure at the U of C. He published nothing. I would suggest that he achieved incompetence while still in private life.

We might have some first class idiots in Illinois, but you don't get the opportunity to fail like Chicago did with the Olympics by being utterly incompetent.

It all depends on what skil... (Below threshold)

It all depends on what skills you're judging, Jim m - and in this case, I'm going with the charisma that got him elected and elected and elected - DESPITE his having no other obvious talents or abilities!

He would have made a fortune in sales - and in a more just world he'd have owned a nationwide chain of used car lots...

In the old days, one was "t... (Below threshold)

In the old days, one was "tarred" for being
black. Not fair. However, "exalted" for being black
now, as is Obama, is a mental leap with no
rationale. This guy is, as Biden stated,
a clean and articulate black man. That does
NOT translate into the gravitas making him
the obvious choice as America's leader. Long
after he's shot his wad, the MSM will be
shoving a Hispanic down out throats....you
can see how it will be orchestrated. White,
powerful, liberal elites run this country.
It seems they don't want this country to
be "this country" any more. Let's give these
bastards a street fight.

-"It's easy being a dog (a ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

-"It's easy being a dog (a "community organizer") chasing a bus (the "establishment"). But the dog never thinks further ahead than what it will do once it has a mouthful of bumper, and the bus isn't stopping..."-

It's easier to destroy than to create.

It was easy to carp from the sidelines about how 'The Man' was not living up to every single one of the ideals of civilized society. (Alinsky rule # whatever: Beat the other side to death with their own rulebook)

Well, they've convinced enough malcontents that the ol' USofA is some big bad racist hellhole, that they voted in an inexperienced narcissist with a radical socialist background.

Many are finding out that governing is different from campaigning.

"Gambling... (Below threshold)

"Gambling the prestige of the office of the President on a foolish, poorly considered wager for the Olympics was just the latest blunder. That doesn't inspire much confidence, does it? But at least we know what we are dealing with"

Yes, Alinskis protege.

"Alinsky's protege."<... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Alinsky's protege."

Yeah, well at least Alinksy wrote his own book.

"Yeah, well at least Alinks... (Below threshold)

"Yeah, well at least Alinksy wrote his own book."

Yeah, and Obama lives it.

And our country will suffer... (Below threshold)

And our country will suffer for it...

And puke him out in 2010.</... (Below threshold)

And puke him out in 2010.

I think the problem domesti... (Below threshold)

I think the problem domestically is that Obama spent the first part of his life extracting money from the government on the behalf of others. Now he IS the government and has to go right to the people that supplied that money. He's seeing with his own eyes now and hearing with his own ears from the very people which he was able to pretend didn't exist before and who supplied that money.

Les -From what I'v... (Below threshold)

Les -

From what I've gathered, the objective of the Alinsky rules is to gain control of the system. But there's not much (if anything) about what to do AFTER you get such control - except possibly demonize those who don't agree with everything you're trying to do.

The assumption by the left seems to be that anything they can think of is so much better than things were before that automatically people will support it wholeheartedly. This may have been true (for certain values of 'true') in the days of Marx vs the Czars - but when you've got a largely autonomous population that's used to making decisions on their own, you're going to get severe pushback when the "We're from the Left and we're here to SAVE you" crowd come in to 'fix' things.

Because, simply put, they've spent so much energy learning how and what to hate about the current system that they've spent no time actually studying it and figuring out how to make things better. Chanting "Hope and Change" at every opportunity isn't an actual plan for change, neither is throwing out a mostly-working system for something completely nebulous and unformed.

As you said - "It's easier to destroy than to create." Now the left is faced with having to actually create - and their only skills are in destruction.

The next few years are going to be VERY instructive.

Just how easy can it be to ... (Below threshold)

Just how easy can it be to be 0zero?

Created from the whole cloth in the terrorist, Bill Ayres, fairy tale and made to appear "real" by the wave of a monstrous Marxist "theologian's" wand. To have been carried along by the illusion of having been able to have profited hugely from countless corrupt associations with Chicago's ranks of RICO-racketeering ratbags -- and to have his tangible delusions of grandeur (and his classical Clinical Narcissist's mega-ego) constantly dented by his loathsome and fearsome self-and-own-culture-loathing "spouse's" constantly-paraded spite and scorn?

Talk about the recidivist, treasonous, lying, looting, thieving, mass-murdering, co-serial-rapist Missus Cli'ton being so far out of her depth as to in her sixty-or-seventy-odd years never have been able to understand a single question -- let alone to have ever provided a single solution!

But for the support of Herr Soros and the various other fasciSSocialist Svengalis taking turns at putting one hand up his arse while their other runs his TelePrompTer, 0zero, the definitive useless poor mobbed-up Mussolini-modeled modified-Marxist murtadd-Muslim mother's boy: -- poor ol' empty-galabiyah glove-puppet pretender to what these days passes as a "presidency;" -- is just another clueless coke-head. An incoherent ideologue. A marijuana-muddled moron.

And the launching pad for the 2013-2021 Presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan on steroids: United States of America's President and Armed-Forces Commander-In-Chief-Elect Sarah Louise Heath Palin!


A perfect example of Obama'... (Below threshold)

A perfect example of Obama's 'management skills', was when he was in charge of a program funded with $100 million from the Annenburg Challenge. He was supposed to find ways to improve Chicago schools.

Well, $100 million later, nothing was accomplished except funding other 'community organizers', like his buddy Bill Ayers. Not one school was improved; not one student's grade average increased. The only thing that occurred was that he made a friend in Arne Duncan, the incompetent Superintendant of Chicago's failing schools.

And yet, Hermie - that was ... (Below threshold)

And yet, Hermie - that was pointed out as an example of Obama's wonderful qualifications for being President.

Nobody apparently ever bothered to look at the results of the program, and see if it worked - the intentions were all that mattered.

And we know what the road to Hell is paved with, right?

Every President comes into office with the intention to do right by the country, at least by their own standards. Most of the Presidents realize, by the time they get to a point where they CAN be President, that they need to carefully judge what they can do versus what they want to do. There's only so much 'political capital' they can expend, after all, and that amount varies during the course of his tenure. Once it's spent - the only way it's renewed is through success of the initiatives it was spent on.

And so far, Obama's been spending his political capital like water, and getting nothing back. The Olympic Ego Trip cost him dearly in the eyes of the world, and in the US. It was an expensive move with no return - and impossible to be spun to his credit.

I fully expect more ego checks to be drawn on his political capital. But this is the first one that bounced.

From what I've gathered,... (Below threshold)
jim m:

From what I've gathered, the objective of the Alinsky rules is to gain control of the system. But there's not much (if anything) about what to do AFTER you get such control

It strikes me that people who are of the Alinsky mindset anticipate having total control of the nation. There s no method for working within a democracy, because the aim is o impose a totalitarian system and rule by fiat.

"At least we know what we a... (Below threshold)

"At least we know what we are dealing with." Think so? Frankly I disagree with the premise of the article. Of course Hussein is thoroughly overrated and under-qualified for his job. He has never truly accomplished anything in his adult life. Rather he has been the perpetual tool--the willing front man--for those with the REAL agenda. Their money along with the 24/7 cheerleading of a dishonest media made Hussein's rise possible. But it is not directionless. Hussein has not screwed up royally in every regard...with the exception of the Olympic fiasco, that is. Every blow dealt the US has been deliberate and planned. The economic destruction of the country, its weakened defensive position, the betrayal of our allies and the attempt to rule beginning with the healthcare fraud--all have been done with forethought and the knowledge that colossal damage would be the result in every case. Obama is simply doing what he is told. That is his history. A willing traitor and happy Marxist. But nothing is done by accident.

Don't know about you, Jim M... (Below threshold)

Don't know about you, Jim M - but I owned a Fiat once... wouldn't call that car able to rule anything - it could get out of its own way, but that was about it.

Seriously, you're right. They anticipated having complete control with no disagreements or dissention from their policies. Beyond that - they've got nothin'. But THIS time, they'd be smart enough to make it all work according to their dreams.

Reading this I suddenly tho... (Below threshold)

Reading this I suddenly thought "Warren Harding!" At least in terms of typical reputation as a President. But at least Harding managed to stave off depression and give us a boom instead, only to be undone later by Hoover and Roosevelt.

I have to tell you that I a... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

I have to tell you that I am very disappointed with this thread. I come to this site to see what the loony left trolls post, so that I can get a good dose of humor during the day. All of you are posting in a clear, level headed manner. No fun. Did y'all (Texan) tell SAUD that he couldn't come over and play anymore?

" Did y'all (Texan) tell SA... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" Did y'all (Texan) tell SAUD that he couldn't come over and play anymore? "

Well, I think Vic embarrassed himself so badly in JTs 'Fun with Ethics' thread that he's ascared to come out.

It's actually kinda nice without 'em.






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